The effects of physical aging on the failure behavior of a typical brittle polymer, polystyrene, have been studied. Properties examined were creep rupture lifetimes, fatigue lifetimes, and environmental stress cracking in ethanol. Fractured samples were examined both optically and by scanning electron microscopy to determine the degree of crazing. It was found that a longer physical aging time produced shorter lifetimes in all cases. The main reason for this is the reduction in craze strength caused …
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